Sunday, March 27, 2011

Toy Theatres and the Paper Arts

I thought I should expand a little on the previous post. If you do a search on under toy theatre you will come up with a wonderful selection. I have included a couple below for you to view.
The video below is a traditional Pollock toy theatre.

 As a  fan of Monty Python (have all their VHS and now of cource the DVDs) the video below reminds me of the wonderful talent and animation art of Terry Gilliam.
A parody on the movie "Inception". If you have not seen the movie it is worth watching.

As I mentioned previously there is a resurgence in the Paper Arts and the concept of the jointed paper doll is popular again. You can find great examples of this at If you want to give this a try Lindsey Carr has made some incredible jointed paper toys and she has made one in pdf format for you to download at her blog.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Ice Book

I have been intrigued and fascinated with the toy theatre. As a child I always loved plays and the ballet. As a student I volunteered at the San Francisco Opera House as anusher so I could see them. I will never forget one opportunity I had to see the Moiseyev Dance Company and go back stage. I sat with a cobbler who travelled with the troupe. He told me he was always busy making and repairing their ballet shoes. I volunteered at the Curran and saw everything from "Death of a Salesman" to "Scrooge". Many happy memories! So why this fascination with the toy theatre? Perhaps because it brings back those happy memories or perhaps it is the fun in working with paper, cutting and gluing and designing. I have read numerous books on the subject many written in the 1930' through the forties. You can find many references under the subject Juvenile Drama, popular in England during the mid 1800's. Scenery, characters and theatres reproduced on a small scale for children to cut, put together and re-enact the plays that were being seen by adults at the "Grand" theatres of the time. The more I researched the subject the more fascinated I became so forgive me for my enthusiasm! As a naive observer I see a resurgence in the interest with the toy theatre and paper toys. Perhaps this is a reaction to video games or perhaps due to an economy that is encouraging frugality. Paper is fun to cut for the young and the old and it does not cost much! You can find wonderful jointed paper dolls, mechanical paper toys, and entire paper villages. The popularity in Altered Art and collage has only added to an old children's playtime being revived with new life. I have recently thought about going back to school and getting my masters in Art Therapy, but the expense is astronomical. So here I am having fun designing paper toys, banners and other fun paper projects using images from a simpler time. I added the video below not only because it is a work of art, but because it demonstrates to me we can create a beautiful world with paper and technology.

The Ice Book from Davy and Kristin McGuire on Vimeo.

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About Me

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Hello! I am a Social Worker by profession, but love graphic arts and the art of illustration. I have collected hundreds of first edition children's books from the late 19th and early 20th century. I love the work of Jessie Wilcox-Smith, Clara Burd, Blanche Fisher-Wright, Anne Anderson, Frank Baum, Fanny Cory, Margaret Tarrant, Johhny Gruelle, Frances Brundage, Maria Kirk, Milo Winter, Beatrix Potter, Maud Humphrey to name just a few! I love to share!